Baptiste Posts First Career Hat Trick in [5/5] Denver's Win over [18/18] Villanova
Junior faceoff specialist closes with four points and 23 faceoff wins in 16-11 decision
April 9, 2017
DENVER –Junior faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste continued his incredible season on Sunday afternoon, posting his first career hat trick while finishing 23-for-28 from the X to lead the [5/5] University of Denver men’s lacrosse program past [18/18] Villanova, 16-11 in-front of the 21st-straight sellout at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
The Denville, N.J., native tallied four points on three goals and one assist and 17 ground balls to lead the Pioneers (8-2, 2-0 BIG EAST), while 2016 Tewaaraton Finalist Connor Cannizzaro and freshman Ethan Walker led the attack with nine total points between the duo. Cannizzaro posted a hat trick and one assist while Walker added a pair of markers and a trio of helpers in the win.
Sophomore Alex Ready took the win while backstopping the defense with a season-high 13 saves before coming out for the final minute.
Villanova (6-5, 1-1 BIG EAST) was led by Christian Cuccinello who ended with two goals and two assists, Jack Curran posted a hat trick before the end of the third quarter and Nick Testa took the decision with 10 saves.
Denver spread the wealth around in the first quarter as four different Pioneers tallied a goal in the frame. French started the run with a feed to Jackson who rifled one past Testa at the 10:17 mark before Villanova buried the equalizer at 8:25 from Devin McNamara.
French followed up with a feed from Walker four minutes later for a 2-1 DU lead, while junior Connor Donahue and Cannizzaro each put one away for a 4-1 lead heading into the second. Donahue and Cannizzaro’s first-quarter goals were two of four scored by Denver in the final 15 seconds of a quarter on Sunday.
The Wildcats strung together a trio of goals to start the second to even the score yet again at 4-4 with 9:21 remaining in the opening half, but the hosts responded as Walker, French and sophomore Nate Marano potted a goal each by the 2:23 mark to rebuild Denver’s lead to 7-4.
Nova had one final goal from Jack Curran with 17 seconds before the break, but Baptiste provided the exclamation point heading into the locker room with his own goal at 11 seconds for an 8-5 lead heading into halftime.
Denver built up a 10-5 lead at the start of the third thanks to Walker and Cannizzaro before the visitors closed to within 10-8 with 2:47 remaining as Curran put away his hat trick to cap the run. DU ensured the lead wouldn’t get any closer as Jackson, Cannizzaro and senior Tyler Pace gave the hosts a 13-8 lead going into the final stanza.
Baptiste tallied his second of the day following the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter to give Denver a 14-8 lead before both sides fell quiet for the next 10 minutes of game time. Nova ended the scoring drought at 5:32 from Danny Seibel before Baptiste again took matters into his own hands and rocketed home his first career hat trick with 5:22 remaining to put the lead back up to 15-9.
Nova couldn’t get any closer as DU went on to a 16-11 final as sophomore Colin Rutan provided the final say of the game for the Crimson and Gold.
Denver men’s lacrosse, Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, will head out on the road next week to take on St. John’s on Saturday, April 15, with opening faceoff at 11 a.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 3 and ESPN Denver 1600.
Single game tickets for the 2017 campaign are also on sale, and can be purchased here.
Fans interested in making a donation to the men’s lacrosse program can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence.
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